Nestled in the Straits of Mackinac where the upper and lower peninsulas meet, Mackinac Island is a historical landmark. Because motorized vehicles are not allowed on the island, the main mode of transportation is either the bicycle or a horse-drawn carriage ride. Island highlights include:
Grand Hotel was built in 1887 as a summer retreat for vacationers from Chicago, Montreal, and Detroit. Featuring the longest front porch (660 feet) in the world, Grand Hotel, has been visited by Presidents, world leaders and other dignitaries. Grand Hotel is also well known for its swimming pool, which was named for actress Esther Williams who starred in the 1947 movie "This Time for Keeps." The 1980 film "Somewhere in Time", starring Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour and Christopher Plummer, was also filmed at the hotel. Visiting student groups frequently schedule the Grand Luncheon Buffet. This memorable dining experience features hot and cold entrees, seafood, salad, sumptuous pastries and much more.
Mackinac State Historic Parks Service oversees the three primary visitor sites: Colonial Michilimackinac, Fort Mackinac, and Historic Mill Creek.
• Colonial Michilimackinac - Student groups will take a trip back in time during their visit to this 1770s-era fort and fur trading village in Mackinac City. Inside the fort, they will witness a live reenactment and view an ongoing archaeological dig. With 13 authentically reconstructed buildings, interactive displays, and demonstrations such as open hearth cooking, Native American crafts, and cannon and rifle firings, students are certain to be engaged. Educator Resources
• Historical Mill Creek - Student groups will be entertained at the reconstructed sawmill demonstration used to produce lumber years ago. Next, they can explore the nature trails and climb a 50-foot tower. Visitors can also schedule a guided tour by the park naturalist or purchase a special Adventure Tour package, which includes the Eagles Flight Zip Line, Forest Canopy Bridge, and Nature Trail Climbing Wall. Educator Resources
• Fort Mackinac - On a southern bluff overlooking the majestic Straits of Mackinac is the stately stone palisade of Fort Mackinac. Inside the fort walls are 14 original buildings filled with interactive displays and period furnishings. Visiting student groups are entertained by bugle music, rifle fire, and a cannon blast. They can also watch a court martial reenactment. Educator Resources
Mackinac Island Carriage Tours By far, the most enjoyable and interesting way to view the island, is via a carriage tour. Students will stop at historic sites such as the Governor’s Mansion, Grand Hotel, Arch Rock, Fort Mackinac, Stuart House, Surrey Hills Museum, and the Post Cemetery.
Haunts of Mackinac Haunted History Tours are based on the best selling book "The Haunts of Mackinac." The tour includes some of the stories from the book, in addition to tales from various locations in the downtown area.
Bicycle Rentals – located in downtown Mackinac Island, adjacent to the ferry docks, are several rental companies where you can rent a stroller, a variety of two wheel bikes or a tandem and tour the island. The most popular route is an 8.2 mile paved road that encircles the island.
The Butterfly House is the first of its kind in Michigan, and the third oldest LIVE butterfly exhibit in the United States. The world-renowned facility has 1800 sq ft of tropical garden filled with hundreds of live butterflies from four continents.
Maritime Museum is located at the Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island. The museum is housed in the resort’s observation tower with four floors on straits history, in addition to a floor on the history of Mission Point Resort and the Moral Re-Armament. Each floor of the exhibit has a separate and unique theme: Water, Wind, Waves, and Wakes; Shipwrecks of the Straits; The Building of the Mackinac Bridge; and Lighthouses of the Straits. The sixth floor of the tower introduces visitors to a world of green lighting and opaque seascapes.
The motor city is renowned for great museums and sites that capture the history of the automotive industry and other historical venues, such as the world famous Motown Museum.
The Henry Ford With a rich and diverse offering of exhibits, demonstrations, programs and reenactments, The Henry Ford celebrates yesterday’s traditions as well as today’s innovations. There are four distinct attractions at The Henry Ford that captivate and inspire visitors of all ages: Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, and an IMAX Theater.
Henry Ford Museum – This museum is a remarkable destination that brings American ideas and innovations to life. The sheer scope and design of Henry Ford Museum is as grand as the vision that inspired it. The sweeping, single-floor space, with its soaring 40-foot ceilings, covers nine acres dedicated to showcasing the finest collection of its kind ever assembled.
Greenfield Village - Entering Greenfield Village is like stepping into an 80-acre time machine. It takes you back to the sights, sounds and sensations of America’s past. There are 83 authentic historic structures, from Noah Webster’s home, where he wrote the first American dictionary, to Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory, to the courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law.
The Ford Rouge Factory Tour - Ford Rouge Factory Tour is a self-guided five-part experience that includes Legacy Theater, Art of Manufacturing Theater, Observation Deck, Assembly Plant Walking Tour, and the Legacy Gallery. Students will learn how automobiles are made, especially the famous Ford F-150.
IMAX Theater – Treat your students to the ultimate film experience that combines a variety of technological innovations: special cameras, special projectors, giant screens, and footage shot on 70mm negative stock.
Motown Historical Museum is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Detroit. The museum traces the roots of Motown’s remarkable story. Exhibits contain a collection of historical photographs, artwork, music, costumes, and other memorabilia from one of the most famous eras in American music. The highlight of the tour is a visit to the famous “Studio A” where most of the greatest Motown stars recorded their hits.
Detroit Science Center includes over 25 hands-on exhibits offering live interactive science demonstrations in the Discovery Theater. The science center also features an IMAX domed theater and a planetarium. Educator Resources
Detroit Institute of Arts has been a beacon of culture in Detroit for over a century. The DIA covers 658,000 square feet that includes more than 100 galleries, a 1,150-seat auditorium, and a 380-seat lecture/recital hall. Among the notable acquisitions in the museum are Mexican artist Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry fresco cycle, which Rivera considered his most successful work, and Vincent Van Gogh's Self Portrait, the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum collection. Educator Resources
The Detroit Historical Museum is one of America’s oldest and largest museums dedicated to metropolitan history. Over 80,000 square feet of exhibition space house more than 600 historic artifacts in the heart of Detroit’s Cultural Center district. Educator Resources
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American experience. The museum provides learning opportunities, exhibitions, programs and events based on collections and research that explore the diverse history and culture of African Americans and their African origins. Educator Resources
Edsel & Eleanor Ford House is the former home of the only son of automobile pioneer Henry Ford. It is a virtual museum filled with priceless French and English antiques as well as art works by masters like Henri Matisse, Paul Cezanne, Franz Hals, and Diego Rivera.
Pewabic Pottery Museum has produced nationally renowned vessels, tiles, and architectural ornamentation for public and private installations. Works made by Pewabic Pottery can be seen throughout the United States in such places as the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., the Nebraska State Capitol, the Science Building at Rice University in Houston, and the Herald Square installation commissioned by the New York Metro Transit Authority.
GM Renaissance Center Rising 73 stories above the Detroit River, the GM Renaissance Center dominates the glittering downtown Detroit skyline. It’s the world headquarters of General Motors and a great place to visit and to dine.
Lansing is the State Capital of Michigan and a popular location for student groups.
Abrams Planetarium is located on the campus of Michigan State University. The planetarium offers astronomy programs for student groups weekdays throughout the school year.
Impression 5 Science Center is a hands-on learning environment that challenges visitors to experience, discover, and explore the world in which they live.
State Capitol Building is available for guided tours on weekdays throughout the year. Tours are 45-minutes. Use the link to access a PDF file on the history of the capitol building.